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[God Oracle] The Dagda

Dagda the Good–Abundance

[Card Description:  A greatly overweight man with uncut red hair and beard and happy, crinkly eyes, his tunic barely covers his huge rump and his cloak barely goes to his elbows, and yet his great penis drags on the ground under his kilt. Behind him, he drags a massive club, held up by a forked wheel that creates ditches on the ground behind him. He wears the torc of kingship, and congenially offers you a meal from his cauldron of abundance, which bubbles and smokes cheerily with no fire underneath it.]


Welcome, Welcome!

Have a bite

Enjoy the company of a God!

I am the Dagda

Joyful King

Great vast man

(if you know what I mean!)

All providing father

Of food

Enjoy a bowl and

Laugh with me

And have a second helping

With the Good God.

With me, son

You are safe

Alive and fed

So eat up!

Have a drink

While I spin the tales

Of a fool and a King

Statistics: Culture of Origin: Ancient Celtic People, Tuatha de Danann. Location: Ireland. Age: Middle Age. Element: Earth, Fire

Mythology: Called the “Father God” of the Celts because he always had the best interests of his people at heart. He protected crops, ruled over time, and was a God of magic. Although very powerful, he is often depicted as filthy, a bit crude and shabbily dressed. Dagda is known for his magical club, which was so big it had to have a wheel so it could be dragged. One end killed people while the other brought them back to life. He also had a sacred cauldron which always had enough food for each man that would eat from it. In one myth, when the Formorians were thinking of invading Ireland, Lugh sent Dagda to keep them busy until Ireland could prepare for battle. He asked for a truce, and the Formorians granted it, but only if the Dagda would eat a huge ditch full of meat porridge with thousands of gallons of milk. He ate every last drop and fell asleep with the Formorians laughing at his fondness for food. When Dagda awoke, his enemies were gone, but he was too bloated with food to run after them. Indeed, his path was halted by a beautiful woman who knocked him on his rump and demanded that he carry her, as she was the daughter of the Formorian king. They wrestled about, and in the end, with Dagda’s charm overcoming her, she promised to fight on his side. She, of course, was the Morrigan, the Goddess of Battle, so victory was secured.

Meaning in Reading: So here’s the Dagda, who is really kind of embarrassing to look at, even to the ancient Celts. He is, in fact, laughable. And yet he is always looking out for others by protecting them and feeding them. He is a king, even if he doesn’t look like one. The Dagda does not get caught up in how things look because he knows that it is character that counts. For us it means that we don’t need the newest electronic, the most expensive jeans, or to get our hair cut at a fancy salon. What matters is this: are you safe? Are you well? Is your belly full? You can be grateful for what you have when your needs are being met. And when you need more, there will be more, if you know where to go and who to turn to—that’s not about stuff, it’s about what is on the inside. A happy, satisfied person will always seem to have enough, and we should strive for that kind of satisfaction instead of looking outward for it. Are you this satisfied?

Reversed: There is always enough, but you must recognize when enough is enough. But our needs—that is, what we need to survive—are not the same as the things that we want. The Dagda was able to eat more than anyone because, like us, he loves and needs to eat. He didn’t need to drink the whole thing, but he can because he is a God. We can’t. Too much of anything is a bad thing: too much food leads to obesity, too much exercise leads to anorexia, too much desire leads to addiction. The Dagda shows us a lust for life, but is it satiable? At some point you have to tell yourself to stop before you make yourself sick. The Celtic God of Abundance always has plenty, but you must be able to tell for yourself when enough if enough. Is now one of those times?

Connecting Ritual: Make for yourself a magnificent meal. It should have at least five courses and use simple, fresh ingredients. It should have protein, grain, veggies and fruit. If you can make some Celtic dishes, all the better. Lay it all out on the table before you and behold the abundant spread fit for a king (you!). Thank the Dagda for the incredible generosity. Acknowledge every dish and where each part comes from—go beyond the simplest “it comes from the store” answer. How far did your food come to get to you? How many people had a hand in getting this food to your table? Farmers? Pickers? Truck drivers? Grocers? Once everyone has been thanked, tuck in! Here’s the hard part—do not simply eat as much as you can. Rather, savor every dish, enjoy the flavors, but save room because you have to eat a bit from each course! The goal is to eat and enjoy the food until you are full, but to stop yourself from becoming like the Dagda at Formorian’s camp. The more food you have available to you, the harder this will be. You will have a great deal of leftover food. Eat these leftovers in the days to come and feel the Dagda’s abundance blessing you, or better yet, offer some of your delicious food to others.

For an additional challenge, purchase a big piece of meat from the butcher, such as a roast, and cook it as part of your feast. The next day, use the meat to create something else, like fajitas.  After eating that, put the leftover meat, some veggies and grains in a crock pot and make your own version of the Dagda’s sacred cauldron. The next day, you could probably cover it with mashed potatoes, bake it, and make shepherd’s pie. I guarantee that roast will feel never ending!

Interesting Fact: Maslow set forth a theory about people that guides many different professionals in their work. His hierarchy of needs teaches us that one cannot move to a higher level until the needs of the one below are satisfied. Begin at the bottom of the chart and move up:

In a very real way, the Dagda represents the foundations of this pyramid of needs. Experiencing Him, and other Gods, in your life can ultimately support all of them, if you work with His energy and interact with what He represents. The Dagda ultimately encourages us to enjoy the physiological necessities.

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